This could also be called "the party we pulled off in about 24 hours". A triple birthday party with a Science theme.
After sending the invitations well in advance I did exactly nothing beyond confirming cake preference for two of the three birthday boys (sorry, dad) and food preference for one of the three (sorry, Mr. H and Oscar). I did have a few general ideas but basically Biscuit and I brainstormed on the way home from San Francisco. We got home in the midafternoon Saturday, Mr. H had already done the shopping and we got right to work. By Sunday at noon we had a party.
Fortunately Mr. H teaches chemistry and I'd had the foresight to ask him to bring home labware for decorations. Perfect for the classic experiment showing how plants take up water (and food coloring). The white carnations, mums and hydrangeas were great.
Inspired by Jennifer, I decided to carve a linoleum block and print tea towels as favors. I had planned to use them as napkins and send them home as favors but I didn't leave time for the ink to dry. Oh well--still good favors and who needs napkins anyway? I figured helium is the most festive element (balloons!) and "He" is perfect for a party celebrating all male birthdays.
Then, of course, I realized I should have printed t-shirts! Since there wasn't time for block printing ink to dry I tried screen printing ink. And no, it doesn't work well for block printing but five-year-olds aren't that picky.
We have a pretty solid tradition of a door decoration and this year's may have been my favorite yet. Let's "CELL" ebrate! Biscuit totally led this project with minimal help from me and Oscar. I did cut out that rough endoplasmic reticulum and a few other organelles but she did a ton and was awesome about letting Oscar help cut out the nucleus.
The planetarium show at the Academy of Sciences totally got me thinking about table cloths. I had all sorts of complicated ideas but at midnight I came up with a super simple plan: black fabric, unhemmed, online constellation chart, white chalk. 10 minutes and done. And I can wash and reuse the fabric!
The house wasn't entirely clean and clearly, the tablecloth wasn't perfectly ironed but these decorations were super fun to make. I love this part of a party.